Natural convective heat transfer from a wide isothermal plate which has a “wavy” surface, i.e., has a surface which periodically rises and falls, has been numerically studied. The surface waves run in the horizontal direction, i.e., are normal to the direction of flow over the surface, and have relatively small amplitude. Attention has been restricted to the case where the waves have a rectangular cross-sectional shape. The plate is, in general, inclined to the vertical, consideration only being given to inclination angles at which the heated plate is facing upwards. The range of Rayleigh numbers considered extends from values that for a non-wavy vertical plate would be associated with laminar flow to values that would be associated with fully turbulent flow. The flow has been assumed to be steady and fluid properties have been assumed constant except for the density change with temperature that gives rise to the buoyancy forces, this being treated by means of the Boussinesq approximation. The Reynolds averaged governing equations in conjunction with a standard k-epsilon turbulence model with buoyancy force effects fully accounted for have been used in obtaining the solution. The governing equations have been solved using the commercial cfd code FLUENT. The solution has the following parameters: (i) the Rayleigh number based on the height of the heated plate, (ii) the Prandtl number, (iii) the ratios of the amplitude of the surface waviness and of the pitch of the surface waves to the height of the plate, and (iv) the angle of inclination of the plate to the vertical. Results have only been obtained for a Prandtl number of 0.74. The effects of the other dimensionless variables on the mean surface Nusselt number have been numerically studied.

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